IF THERE’S A COMMON thread linking the second anniversary of downtown’s Vegas Streats festival and charity-based Restaurant Week, it’s accessibility.
Vegas Streats, the second-Saturday cultural confab just under The Ogden at Jackie Gaughan Plaza, came along just as Slidin’ Thru and Fukuburger ushered in Sin City’s Food Truck Era. Up until then, you had to either follow your favorite mobile eatery on social media or know where it typically parked for the evening. The principals behind Vegas Streats envisioned a regular, First Friday-like event where budding foodies and downtown visitors could sample from a dozen or so grub trucks without the hassle of chasing them down.
And if the thought of sampling new cuisine or partaking in the new dining zeitgeist wasn’t enough, one might be lured by the bands and MCs performing, the electro and dubstep DJs creating a downtown dance party, the fashion vendors hawking their duds and the graffiti artists spraying live. Which meant for those under 21, they could now properly experience Fremont East and its urban culture — and maybe learn something about fusion or alternative dining in the process. Two years later, it remains one of downtown’s most popular events.
Restaurant Week, now in its sixth year, doesn’t necessarily make the dining experience easier for newbie foodies or suburbanites — but it does make eating a likelier prospect for the poor and hungry. Participating restaurants all over the valley create specially priced meals for the week and donate $4-$6 per meal to Three Square, which supports several local hunger-relief programs. If you need a good excuse to finally try Bar + Bistro in the Arts District or Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood on the Strip or Ferraro’s across from Hard Rock Hotel — there are more than 70 participating dining rooms — here’s the best one you’ll find.
Vegas Streats: Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m.; Jackie Vaughan Plaza, 600 Fremont St., www.vegasstreats.com, free. Restaurant Week: March 8-15; visit www.helpoutdineoutlv.org for participating restaurants, $20.13-$50.13.